Minimal Pair initial /ʤ/ and /j/

as in jaw and your

Below is a list of words that vary only by one starting with the sound /ʤ/ and the other starting with the sound /j/.

You can use this to practise the sounds or as a list of words to be careful to pronounce properly.

/ʤ/ is released with a sudden release of air, similar to /tʃ/ but with use of the voice. The phonemic symbol /j/ looks as if it should be pronounced like the first letter of jam, but is in fact the first sound in yellow. The sound /j/ is similar to the vowel sound /i:/, and in fact is often called a “semi-vowel”.

Elementary / Pre-Intermediate

jaw your
jaw you’re
Jew you
jewel you’ll


jam yam
jeer year
jet yet
job yob
juice use


gel yell
gin yin
jack yak
Jews use
joke yoke


gip yip
jack yack
jaw yaw
jaw yore
jetty yeti
joke yolk

Written for EnglishClub by Alex Case